Handicapping The Race Against Mike Satz



The alleged mistreatment of blacks and Hispanics by the State Attorney’s Office is becoming a major issue in the race against incumbent Mike Satz.



Four attorneys – one who has already opened a campaign and three others who are seriously considering one – say Satz’s disproportionate prosecution of minorities for drug possession and minor offenses will be vigorously debated.

Satz vehemently denies that he has been unfair.

“I’ve heard it and it’s absolutely false,” he said. “We have a diversion program.  Somebody with a small amount of drugs can go in that program.  If they get in trouble again, they can go to drug court.  If they get in trouble again, they go on probation.

“Remember that Mike Satz and none of the prosecutors in this office do any sentencing.  Judges do all the sentencing. Judges in Broward County are sensitive to drug problems,” he said.

“The State Attorney’s Office doesn’t arrest suspects.  The police agencies do that.  Even if I was Attila the Hun – and I’m not – I couldn’t unilaterally put people in jail,” Satz continued.

“If somebody has a drug problem and has not hurt anybody, I believe they should get help,” Satz said. “That’s my position.”

Argument over?  Not quite.

The Challengers

*Jim Lewis, a Republican candidate, told the redstate.com website, “For non-violent offenders, I want real attempts to rehabilitate low risk offenders instead of using valuable prison space on drug addicts and the mentally ill.”

*Teisha Powell, a foreclosure defense specialist and a Republican, is expected to make the same argument if she runs.  A source with her ear told Browardbeat.com that “the disproportionate number of blacks and Latinos prosecuted for possession and minor crimes under Satz” will be a key issue.

*Chris Mancini, the independent hopeful, also told Browardbeat.com that Satz’s only dealings with minorities was to “lock ‘em up.”

*Kevin Kulik, a Broward criminal defense attorney who will run as a Democrat, has criticized what he calls Satz’s unfair prosecution of minorities.

Such arguments would usually fall on deaf ears.  The vast majority of voters have repeatedly shown they don’t care about the plight of the underclass as long as they feel safe in their homes.

This year might be different.

With the current squeeze on taxpayers, candidates make a case that locking up folks for committing inconsequential victimless crimes is costing too much money.

Each kid in jail for possession of a few joints costs taxpayers thousands.

The Poll

I have been told that a leading Florida polling firm tested the message of Satz’s alleged unfair treatment of minorities.

The poll found that large numbers of blacks are less likely to vote for Satz when told of that message.  Blacks are also less likely in larger numbers to vote for Satz when they learn only a handful of his prosecutors are black.

The poll question on the number of black lawyers at Satz’s office is unfair.

The State Attorney’s Office has 18 black lawyers out of 200 lawyers or about 9 percent. Four out of the nine lawyers in the career criminal unit are black.

Satz has a far better percentage of black lawyers than the Florida Bar. A 2008-2009 survey found only 3 percent of Bar members were black.

He was also the first Broward State Attorney to hire a black attorney—Chuck Morton, who is now his chief deputy.

These facts about black attorneys aren’t an advertisement for Satz.  Just the truth.

I was not shown the poll.  I know the actual poll numbers, but I promised not to quote them.

If accurate, those figures could be decisive in a Democratic primary.  Black voters comprise a larger number of Democratic voters each year.

Should Satz be worried?

I would imagine his initial name ID is many times what any challenger has. He should have more money. His explanation of his sentencing philosophy makes sense to me.

But I’ve seen many incumbents (like Sheriff Nick Navarro in 1992 and U. S. Rep. Ed Stack in 1980) take challengers for granted and lose.

If Satz campaigns hard, raises enough money and hires competent political talent to fashion his message, he should be okay.

The only thing I can predict: By next August’s primary, Satz will know he has been in his toughest race for years.

13 Responses to “Handicapping The Race Against Mike Satz”

  1. Time For A Change? says:

    Satz has been in office a long time, maybe too long. When someone gets entrenched in office, they sometimes get lazy or haphazard or feel entitled to the job. Satz has seen the writing on the wall and started going after public corruption a few years ago, something he has ignored most of his career. Now there are calls about the racial aspect of his prosecutions so I expect to see some proactive response on Satz’s part. I don’t think he is acting inappropriate in any way and is just prosecuting the slam dunk cases he gets. As far as people not caring about the “plight of the underclass”, that is a pant load. People just don’t care about the plight of the criminal.

    Satz has done a mostly good job over the years but maybe it is his time to go.

  2. ASA Alu says:

    Before anyone suggests I’m blogging on State time, I’m home sick today. 

    For potential candidates to suggest that Mr. Satz only prosecutes minorities is a direct assault on all the hard working ASA’s in our office. I never look at the color of one’s skin when deciding what sentence to recommend to the Court, nor have I ever seen another ASA do so. On drug related non-violent offenses, I have worked diligently to seek drug treatment for these offenders regardless of their skin color. There is not one person on the defense bar that could say any different!

    Prosecuting attorneys are randomly assigned cases by court divisions. First time non-violent drug possession offenders with no indication of dealing are always offered drug court or PTI. Repeat offenders who score under 60 points are offered post adjudicatory drug court, which consists of an intense drug counseling program. Those offenders who score over 60 points, score mandatory prison. Sentencing guidelines was enacted by the Florida Legislature, not my office.

    The problem is that no one can force people addicted to drugs to successfully complete drug treatment. The type of drugs on the street today are extremely addicting and difficult to kick. I know firsthand of the torment and destruction these drugs cause. This October 27th will be the 6th year anniversary of my baby sister’s death which was caused by drugs alcohol. I arrived in a Tennessee hospital and held her until her last dying breath. Forced to make the decision to remove life support, I held her as she bled out due to total organ failure. It was this experience that gave me such compassion for those addicted to drugs.

    There was nothing our family could do to stop her addiction. She was dead at 39 years old. Mr. Satz isn’t the problem. The real problem is that there are not enough State funded residential treatment programs in the community to combat this epidemic. The legislature needs to fund residential treatment programs instead of handing down these mandatory jail sentences.

    My fellow prosecutors do not send minorities to jail based on their color. To insinuate that this is Mr. Satz’s policy is a slap in the face of all of the dedicated men and women in our office. Our main objective is to protect the community from violent offenders. It is not to jail minorities addicted to drugs, and these statements made b y potential candidates are just false. We are hard working attorneys making little money for the betterment of the community.

    Making this type of allegation will ensure Mr. Satz’s victory because I do not know one prosecutor who would support a candidate who has such little respect for what we do day in and day out!

  3. Wranglr says:

    ASA Alu works for Satz. She needs the job. She needs the income while running for County Commission on Satz’s tax dollars.

    She also needs to support Satz so Satz doesn’t turn on her while they both are campaigning. They will be out at functions together for the next year.

    Politics is about backscratching. It’s gross and slimy. Anything ASA Alu has to say should be discounted.

    Walk into a Broward court and see what is there. Blacks.

  4. To Wranglr says:

    I’m not racist. You might just see blacks in the courts because they are accused of many of the crimes.

    The reasons for this may be poverty or lack of jobs or other social ills. One of those reasons is not Mike Satz.

  5. Resident says:


    If you really want to help Satz, stop helping him. You will only do him damage. He really doesn’t need it, and I like him.

    You’re not as popular as you think.

  6. Broward Politico says:

    Is Dave BogenSchutz backing Mike Satz? If not, why not? Hummmm

  7. real old timer says:

    At Alu, Is there just one minute that you can pull yourself away from the limelight and just shut up? Your drama stories are so inconsistant. Of course you have your head up Satz’s butt, you’re lucky you still have a job thanks to his spineless caving in to your pathetic behavior. People dont like a snitch (except Satz) Alu and you define the word.

  8. Sunrise Observer says:

    Bob Norman and JAAblog have done a great job of documenting how bad Satz is – he’s been a wet-noodle enabler of public corruption while at the same time abusing our tax dollars by pushing for plea deals with maximum penalties in flimsy cases which would be laughed out of court if the defendant knew enough to and could afford to go to trial. Many of these people who have been railroaded by Satz happen to be minorities. I’ll buy Alu’s argument that it isn’t racism, but deliberately railroading defendants instead of dropping flimsy cases isn’t a fair use of anyone’s tax dollars. And it probably has a disproportionate impact on minorities – that in itself is enough to substantiate a civil rights argument against Satz.

    Kevin Kulik is a Democrat & at this point I have no reason to believe he would be any worse than Satz, so at this point I’m for Kulik. And as for Alu, she will be a great County Commissioner, and I’d like to see her clearly focused on her own good campaign.

  9. Mr. Courthouse says:

    I’m in court almost every day.
    Ms. Alu is a lightweight, a blowhard and makes much too much of her abilities. Maybe that’s why she is leaving to become a county commissioner?
    Kevin Kulik uses the Internet to make up for his limited legal skills. Jim Lewis should stop running for office. I’ve never heard of the rest of these “candidates”.

    Mike Satz does an admirable job keeping this community safe.

  10. Also in Court daily says:

    @ 7:48 Safe?? Safe from what? Penny-ante criminals who committ victimless crimes and we the lucky taxpayer get to foot the bill?

    And then too, Safe FOR what? Corrupt politicians? Why did it take the Fed to put away Gallagherm Eggeletion, Rubin….

    Mike Satz protects corrupt politicians and wastes our resources o petty crimes. It is time for him to go.

  11. John McNamara says:

    Satz says he has been fair; he doesn’t know or care what “fair” means. When a state attorney knowingly and intentionally prosecutes an innocent person so that he will not be forced to prosecute a corrupt cop, he has lost his direction; he is a rudderless ship. In common parlance, it is called corruption. Satz cannot even find the intestional fortitude to prosecute the Walt Disney Cops from Hollywood, and he refuses to arrest and charge the Dr. Frankenstein, from the Hollywood Police Department, who actually altered and falsified the video evidence in the Torrens-Vilas case, as well as in the Donald Baker case.


    Fox News asks the appropriate question: Who (at the Hollywood Police Department) doctored the video that was sent to Satz for prosecution?” We know that that person was police officer Robbie Knapp, and Satz has worked with Knapp using false and altered evidence on numerous occasions, and it is impossible to ascertain the number of innocent defendants who have been sent to their deaths and to long terms of incarceration. Simply because Satz was caught protecting Knapp and the Disney Cops at Hollywood in these cases does not mean that these are exclusive, for how many times has Finkelstein or some other attorney challenged the false video evidence provided by Hollywood and used by Satz to prosecute the innocent? Can Satz now arrest and charge his collaborators? Can Satz and Raft now prosecute their co-conspirators? To do so would be to sign their own pension forfeiture papers, and to indict themselves on federal crimes under 18 U.S.C. 242-242, 18 U.S.C. 4, and many others.

    Indeed, Satz will have considered himself very luck if he does not find himself in a federal penitentiary. Satz in no different than Nifong and other corrupt prosecutors across this country how have feathered their caps at the expense of the blood of innocent human beings.

    Remember, Satz is the one who ordered the secreting of the exculpatory video evidence in the Baker case and in spite of his IT Experts’ observations that the video was altered and falsified, Satz persisted in this malicious prosecution. the icing was put on the cake when, on habeas, Satz sicked Scott Raft on the case to suborn the perjury of Baker’s own (removed due to incompetence) attorney, Madeleine Torres, to testify falsely against Finkelstein’s own client, Baker.


    Habeas counsel apprised Finkelstein of the treachery and perjury of Torres, and Finkelstein did nothing.


    Torres remains under the employ of the PD’s Office and is able and ready to strike again at another of their own clients when faced with a charge of incompetence and malpractice.

    John McNamara

    John McNamara

  12. Sunrise Observer says:


    “A poll of 600 likely Broward Country general election voters conducted between October 21st – October 23rd showed that only 38 percent of voters would vote for Satz regardless of who his opponent is. Furthermore, 62% of voters said that they would vote against Satz when they learned that he has been on the public payroll for 44 years.

    Fifty-eight percent agreed with the proposition that Satz has been lax on prosecuting local county corruption requiring Federal authorities to move on this front. […]”

  13. Sunrise Observer says:


    “Broward State’s Attorney Mike Satz dropped a drug possession charge for a partner at a big Fort Lauderdale law firm that contributed and did a fundraiser. The lawyer had four Schedule 1 drugs in his system and was violent when arrested…”